Lucknow Super Giants unveiled as name for new IPL franchise

KL Rahul sets his field BCCI

Lucknow Super Giants. That is the team name unveiled on Monday by the new IPL franchise bought by the RP Sanjiv Goenka group, a diversified Indian business group, for a record sum of INR 7090 crore (USD 940 million approx.) in October last year.

Last week Sanjiv Goenka, the owner of Lucknow Super Giants, announced that KL Rahul would be the captain of the new franchise. The Lucknow Super Giants bought Rahul for INR 17 crore (USD 2.28 million approx.), the joint-highest fee paid to a player in IPL.

This is not the RP Sanjiv Goenka group's first tryst with IPL team ownership, or indeed with the team name. They had acquired a franchise in Pune for IPL 2016 and 2017 - when two new franchises temporarily replaced the suspended Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals. They had then called their franchise the Rising Pune Super Giants, later changing the name in 2017 to Rising Pune Supergiant.

Goenka said the name for the Lucknow franchise had been finalised based on a crowd-sourced campaign.

The Lucknow Super Giants also acquired Australian allrounder Marcus Stoinis and Ravi Bishnoi, the uncapped Indian legspinner. While Stonis will be paid INR 9.2 crore (USD 1.24 million approx.), a sum of 10 crore will be deducted from the franchise's overall auction purse as per the IPL rules. Bishnoi meanwhile will be paid INR 4 crore (USD 0.54 million approx.), which was the baseline price set by the IPL for uncapped Indian players. The franchise will consequently have a purse of INR 59 crore at the two-day auction, which is scheduled in Bengaluru between February 12 and 13.

IPL 2022 is expected to start on March 27, with the authorities keen that the tournament be hosted in India itself, although that could change depending on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Alongside Lucknow, the other new IPL franchise was bought by global private equity giants CVC Capital, and will be based in Ahmedabad. The three players they bought ahead of the mega auction were Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan for INR 15 crore (USD 2.02 million approx.), and Shubman Gill for INR 8 crore (USD 1.07 million approx.). As per the auction rules, the Ahmedabad franchise's purse will be lighter by INR 38 crore - with the actual amount paid to Rashid and Gill subtracted since it stands higher than the slabs set by the IPL of INR 11 crore and INR 7 crore when three capped players are retained by a franchise. Ahmedabad will thus go in with INR 52 crore to spend in the auction.